First Public Release of Data About How Our Galaxy Formed

First Public Release of Data About How Our Galaxy Formed

Oval diagram showing locations in the Milky Way from which infrared light was captured

This map shows an infrared view of the Milky Way, as seen from Earth, plus the infrared spectra of two stars. Green circles show locations where infrared spectroscopy data were obtained during the first year of Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III observations with the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE). The white boxes show the infrared spectra of two stars as seen by APOGEE; the red lines show where these stars live in the galaxy. One of these stars is in the galactic bulge, which is rich in elements heavier than hydrogen, and one is further out in the galactic disk, which has fewer such heavy elements.

Image: Peter Frinchaboy (Texas Christian University), Ricardo Schiavon (Liverpool John Moores University), and the SDSS-III collaboration. Infrared sky image from 2MASS, IPAC/Caltech and University of Massachusetts.